This weekend the Event Rider Masters heads to Germany and the Biebrich Palace situated on the banks of the River Rhine in the heart of the city of Wiesbaden.
With all three of the top ranked FEI Event Riders in the World competing here it is set to be a thrilling, hard fought competition.
An all-female top 7 in Leg 1 kicked off the 2018 Event Rider Masters last weekend. The stats would suggest we could see more of the same this weekend on the final podium at Wiesbaden.
The Dressage morning in Wiesbaden produced the lowest average ERM Dressage scores of all time but with only the top 5 (20%) achieving sub-30 scores the marks weren't flowing freely from the Judges.
European Gold Medallists Germany's Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD pipped Oliver Townsend to the top spot by the smallest of margins by posting a score of 22.2.
Second place after Dressage was the World Number 1 and 2016 ERM Champion Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo. Leading by a large margin on his score of 22.8 for the majority of the morning Oliver said, "I am thrilled for the horse and want to thank Andrew Nicholson for giving me the opportunity to have the ride on him. He just keeps getting better and better."
Sitting in third place going into the Show Jumping this afternoon was Dutch Olympic Event Rider Tim Lips and his ride Bayro on a score of 27.7
The Show Jumping time proved influential in this afternoon's session with only 44% of the field avoiding time penalties.
There was no change at the top of the leader board with Ingrid, Oliver and Tim all achieving clear rounds inside the time.
With a climb up the leader board of 13 places, Sweden's Ludwig Svennerstal and his ride EL Kazir SP have upped Ludwig's chances of landing his first ERM podium place this season.
The challenge on Saturday will come from the clock. The Wiesbaden clear jumping rate across the country is currently 65% so we are expecting a tough challenge tomorrow and a big shuffle on the final leader board. It is worth noting, however, that nobody has made the time at Wiesbaden in the last two years.
SAP Hale Bob OLD and Ingrid have made the time 6 times at this CIC3 star. Which makes him the favourite to do it again here.
This year's Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International, incorporating the FEI Eventing Nations Cup, runs from 24th - 27th May. As usual it is set to welcome riders from across the globe; 19 nations will be represented, from Finland and Sweden to Russia, Japan and Hong Kong. Entries for the headline 'CICO three-star' class, which incorporates the only British leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup, are full and five teams look set to challenge the winner of the previous three years, Germany.
World class athletes will be heading to Norfolk with the goal of winning this class, and ones to watch would have to be Laura Collett and Tina Cook. Laura has three entries including her uber-talented Mr Bass who along with Tina's Billy The Red and Calvino II were due to contest Badminton before the spring's bad weather and a nasty fall for Tina put paid to those plans. Crowd favourites Pippa Funnell, Ben Hobday and Nicola Wilson are also in the line-up. International medal winners include Australia's Andrew Hoy, New Zealand's Caroline Powell, Germany's Dirk Schrade and twice World Champion Kiwi, Blyth Tait.
Aside from the 'big' class and fresh from finishing third at Badminton, British team gold medallist Rosalind Canter is bringing one of her youngsters, while Piggy French has two horses entered and Gemma Tattersall, fourth at Badminton behind Ros, has a ride in every class.
Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International also plays host to the NAF British Eventing Under 21 Championships. Reigning Junior European Champion Bubby Upton will have three shots at this title, including with her medal winning partner Eros DHI. This partnership is very much on song, having won a two-star class at Belton International last month. Last year's winner Felicity Collins returns, as does 2017 runner up Sam Ecroyd.
Running alongside the International event, there are also showjumping, combined training, dressage, arena eventing and pony club classes, as well as the ever popular Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers.
Tickets are now on sale for Burgham International Horse Trials (July 27-29) – Northumberland’s premier equestrian event.
Burgham is now in its fifth year, and has blossomed into a world-class horse trials. The UK’s top riders appreciate its excellent cross-country courses, great ground conditions and friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
Conveniently situated not far from the A1 between Morpeth and Alnwick, Burgham offers a full range of classes from BE90 to CIC3*, giving amateur riders the chance to compete alongside the best in the world.
Laura Collett won the CIC3* in 2017 aboard her World Equestrian Games hope, Mr Bass. She said: “I love Burgham – you are made to feel very welcome, and the courses are superb. I hope to be back this year – it’s well worth the long drive from Gloucestershire!”
Burgham’s renowned cross-country courses are designed by David Evans – who is responsible for building the course for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, as well as other top events round the world – and former Olympic and world champion Blyth Tait, one of the most famous and respected event riders of all time.
Burgham event director Martyn Johnson said: “Last year’s event was our best yet. We received incredible entries and had great feedback from competitors and spectators. We are constantly striving to improve what we can offer, and Burgham isn’t just the pinnacle of the northern equestrian calendar – it’s a really good day out for families, with lots of children’s entertainment, fantastic food options and shopping opportunities.”
As well as the eventing classes, Burgham also runs Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse qualifiers and affiliated showjumping.
For more information and to book tickets, visit www.burghaminternationalhorsetrials.co.uk. Tickets start from just £3 per adult if you take advantage of our “early bird” discount, which is available until Friday, 25 May.
The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, taking place at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY April 26-29, 2018, is set to be the biggest edition yet. After five years as the presenting sponsor of the event, and a principal partner of US Equestrian for the past eight years, Land Rover will assume the role of title sponsor. Tagged as the ‘Best Weekend all Year,’ the Land Rover brand will enhance the Kentucky Three-Day Event with new consumer activations for the entire family.
With the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon taking place in September, this year’s starting line-up is anticipated to be one of the most competitive yet as riders aim to make their mark ahead of team selection.
The renowned equestrian competition, won in 2017 by three-time Olympic gold medalist and current world no. 1, Michael Jung of Germany, will be sure to challenge those striving for their share of the significant $400,000 prize money.
As part of Land Rover’s partnership with the event, the triumphant rider of the inaugural Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event will not only claim their share of the prize fund, but also will be presented with the keys to a 12-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery. The keys to the car will be awarded to the winning rider by Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC following the Show Jumping finale.
“We are very excited to be returning to the Kentucky Three-Day Event, one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. Land Rover’s long-standing affiliation with equestrian sport has been strengthened by taking on the new role as title sponsor, making for an even more exciting year ahead.” said Kim McCullough, Vice President, Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America
The Land Rover brand’s ‘Ultimate Stable Experience’ was created in 2017 to provide attendees insight into the six different Land Rover models, each which encompass their own defining characteristics, personality and positioning. Given the excitement around that first event the program returns in 2018 showcasing the brand’s compact Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV. It will be displayed alongside a range of top equestrian apparel and equipment. As part of the Stable Experience, visitors will have a chance to meet some of the competitors at rider autograph signings; there will even be a miniature pony for younger fans to pose with for photographs.
The seventh annual “Land Rover Tailgate Experience,” which invites participants to showcase their most inspired vision of a quintessential British designed tailgate, is back. The winner will receive an exclusive ticket package and tailgate spot for the 2019 Three-Day Event.
As one of only six annual Four Star Three-Day Events in the world, over 80,000 spectators are predicted to make their way to the Kentucky Horse Park to catch the four days of supreme action. The event will be telecast on the NBC Network on Sunday May 6, 2018 between 2:00-3:00 pm EDT and will re-air on the Olympic Channel on Saturday, May 26, between 3:00-4:00 pm EDT. Go to the USEF Network for livestream details of the competition that will air daily.
Tri-Star Eventing was formed last year, a joining of forces by Musketeer Event Management (MEM) and BEDE Events. Its goal? To promote the sport to a wider range of sponsors and provide opportunites to competitors and followers of eventing.
The initiative has been well received, attracting strong sponsorship support. With Oasby and Burnham Market Horse Trials done and dusted for 2018, the next two Tri-Star events are looming; Belton and Whitfield.
Making their debut this weekend are the cottages.com dressage cabins. Cottages.com is sponsoring the dressage arenas at all Tri-Star events, and Business Development Manager Chris Otty explained: “We are very pleased to be involved in the series. Riders and spectators are sure to notice the special 'holiday cottages' we have supplied to keep the dressage judges comfortable whilst judging the Lycetts Grantham Cup.”
Suzuki ATV is an invaluable sponsor, even more so given the British weather so far this season. Its quad bikes keep information flowing, as scores are brought in from the cross country course and the team can get to where they need to be quickly and efficiently. Harvey Day from Suzuki ATV was even kind enough to brand up a Scottish-themed quad especially for MEMs Alec Lochore - BEDE's Stuart Buntine has a more traditional red one.
The Intermediate, Novice and Grass Roots Leagues are enjoying support from Saracen Horse Feeds and Fairfax Saddles, whilst Kent & Masters are sponsoring the main arena at all Tri-Star grass roots events - they will have a strong presence at Whitfield Horse Trials in two weeks time.
Completing the line up to date is Investec Wealth & Investment, which has added Tri-Star sponsorship to its existing arrangement with BEDE Events. The company will stand out from the crowd at Belton with its very own larger-than-life zebra, competitions for both adults and children, and a hospitality marquee in the centre of the cross country course which will offer complimentary drinks.
With such committed support, the series looks set to go from strength to strength.
More information can be found at tristareventing.co.uk